Poster

Thru the Mirror

A Mickey Mouse Cartoon

Release Date : May 30, 1936

Running Time : 8:49

Synopsis

Mickey dreams that he steps through the mirror where everything is alive. While there, he dances with a pair of gloves and a pack of playing cards.

Characters

Mickey Mouse
King Neptune
King of Hearts
Queen of Hearts

Credits

Director
Dave Hand
Animation
Bob Wickersham
Johnny Cannon
Dick Lundy
Leonard Sebring
Hardie Gramatky
Ugo D'Orsi

Video

United States
Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck Cartoon Collections Volume 1
The Spirit of Mickey
Germany
Die Popcornschlacht
France
Disney Parade 1
Italy
Sono Io ... Topolino
Video Parade 14
Cartoons Disney 4
Topolino 70 Anni di Avventure

CED

United States
Disney Cartoon Parade Volume 4

Laserdiscs

Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck Cartoon Collections Volume 1
The Spirit of Mickey
Japan
Mickey's Golden Jubilee
Disney Cartoon Festival 1
Mickey's Family Album
Mickey Mouse: A Star is Born
Milestones for Mickey

DVD

United States
Disney Treasures : Mickey Mouse in Living Color (Volume 1)
Alice in Wonderland: The Masterpiece Edition
Walt Disney Animation Collection : Volume 1 : Mickey and the Beanstalk
Germany
Alle Lieben Mickey
Disney Treasures : Mickey Mouse in Living Color (Volume 1)
Alice im Wunderland (Special Edition)
Alice im Wunderland
France
Tout le Monde aime Mickey
Disney Treasures : Mickey Mouse in Living Color (Volume 1)
Italy
Disney Treasures : Mickey Mouse in Living Color (Volume 1)
Alice Nel Paese Delle Meraviglie
Alice Nel Paese Delle Meraviglie (Special Edition)
Il Mio Eroe Topolino
Sweden
Disney Treasures : Mickey Mouse in Living Color (Volume 1)
Alice in Wonderland
Alla Alskar Musse
United Kingdom
Disney Treasures : Mickey Mouse in Living Color (Volume 1)
Alice in Wonderland
Everybody Loves Mickey

Blu-Ray

United States
Alice In Wonderland (Two-Disc 60th Anniversary Blu-ray/DVD Combo)

Television

The Ink and Paint Club: Episode 50: Storyteller Mickey
Mickey's Mouse Tracks: Episode 52
Walt Disney Presents: The Plausible Impossible

Original Animator's Drafts


Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

Page 4

Page 5

Page 6

Technical Specification

Color Type: Technicolor
Animation Type: Standard animation
Sound Mix: Mono
Aspect Ratio: 1.37 : 1
Negative Format: 35mm
Print Format: 35mm
Cinematographic Process: Spherical
Original Language: English

Released by United Artists Pictures

Comments

From Ryan Kilpatrick at The Disney Film Project : Again, we’ve reached one of the classic Mickey Mouse shorts, Thru the Mirror. As a viewer or a fan of these cartoons, certain images stay in your mind. One of those is the image of Mickey in this very short. It features some iconic images and is just plain fun.

In many ways, this hearkens back to the early days of Mickey and the Silly Symphonies, in that there is a brief set up but the majority of the short is dedicated to Mickey entertaining the audience with a series of dancing and gags. It’s a throwback in that way, but very much a more modern cartoon in others.

As Mickey goes through the looking glass, he is immediately presented with a whole different world. Chairs have eyes, stools act like dogs and everything is alive. In that way, it diverges from the old cartoons. In the early 30’s, there would be no explanation for why inanimate objects were coming to life to join Mickey’s reverie. Now, more consistency and story logic are on display. It’s an important distinction.

That said, the short is really about the gags and how Mickey interacts with the crazed characters of the mirror world. After clearing the chair, he takes some gruff from a telephone, in a fun way, and then leads into the most fun part of the short.

There are two elaborate dance sequences that happen next – one with a pair of gloves and the second with a deck of cards. Each is magnificently animated, with fluid motion and spectacular shots. The shot of Mickey with the gloves is one that sticks in your mind, but the way the camera moves around, shooting Mickey from above or the side, is what makes the card sequence so memorable to me.

There’s also the new things that are done with the cards. First with the shuffling of Mickey in the cards, his “peacock” show, and then when the cards turn against him. Watching Mickey dance with the queen and then swordfight the king is a delight to behold.

My favorite gag comes after that, when the cards are chasing Mickey out of the looking glass world, and begin throwing their suits at him. No, not their pinstriped Armanis, but the hearts, clubs, spades and diamonds get pulled off the cards and thrown at Mickey. It works in reverse as well, when Mickey turns on a fan and starts blowing the suits off the cards.

It’s innovative gags like this that make Thru the Mirror so fun. True, there’s not a story here, but it’s explained – this is a dream sequence, and it’s Mickey’s dream self in this world. That adds a needed layer of subtext to make it more believable and easy to swallow. That itself is a new thing for Disney, and makes this short so much better.


From 411314 : I would say that there is a story, it's just not the type of story where one event leads to another which leads to another and so on and so forth. Rather, there's one event that mostly leads to a bunch of other random ones. Previous Mickey Mouse shorts were like that, but I much prefer this one over most of those ones. I'm not sure why. I guess maybe because all the events are within the context of an event other then "Mickey's holding a party where people sing and dance". By the way, when Mickey falls into the water on the globe, is it King Neptune that pops out at him?
From Mac : Recent cartoons in the series have focused more on the other characters in Mickey's world rather than the mouse himself, so it's good to see such an enjoyable cartoon in which Mickey is the star again. One thing I've noticed in the cartoons lately is that, with the exception of Mickey's Grand Opera, the Mickey cartoons look a little flatter than the Silly Symphonies. It seems that in the Sillies, there are more special effects and cels are more likely to have shadows, dark areas and highlights afforded to them than in the Mickeys.

BTW, that is indeed King Neptune who pops out the globe!


From Tom Wilkins : "Classic" Mickey is the only way to describe this cartoon filled with more action surrounding a single character than the real Alice In Wonderland story. Chairs, phones, and cards personify themselves with cute slapstick characteristics which makes this cartoon even more special, even though it was just in Mickey's dream. Once one card gets the "black ink" treatment, war breaks loose as Mickey runs for whatever cover he could find. When the cards persist on throwing their spades, diamonds, etc. at Mickey, he escapes by pretending he is running on top of the world. However, King Neptune shows up for the first time in four years, and by that time, Mickey's alarm clock sounds to wake him up, only to casually crush the clock so he can try to continue his dream. It may not be the top Mickey short of all time, but it is certainly in the top 5.
From Thomas Mulligan : That's a good short! But, who did Mickey Mouse's tap dancing?
From J. D. Weil : This is sort of a side note: Carl Barks began his career as an in-betweener on the tap dancing sequence in this short.
From Jerry Edwards : While technically brilliant, nothing in this short appeals to me emotionally. I am unable to get involved in the story or characters.
From Ryan : Mickey is reading "Through the Looking Glass" and falls asleep. He dreams that he enters the other side of the mirror. Everything inanimate is animate (so I suppose everything that's animate is inanimate). There's a "dog" footstool and a chair who portrays the owner. Also was a humanized umbrella. There wasn't much excitement in this short. I guess it was mainly meant to be funny rather than exciting.
From David Willis : I have wanted to see this short for ages and I found by accident one day and it is on the british Alice in Wonderland DVD ( I am not sure whether or not it appears on the American one). This short was absolutely fantastic, and I didn't mind the "it was all a dream " routine because the story was so fantastic. A perfect 10.
From Jeremy Fassler : Stupid. Just plain stupid. Clever gags, but otherwise, stupid. I'm not a huge fan of Mickey, as he isn't as funny as Goofy or Donald Duck, who had the all time best Disney cartoon ever, being Der Fuehrer's Face.

The best moment comes when Mickey dances with the queen of hearts, drawn to look like Garbo. Coming to her defense is the king, Charles Laughton, who played Henry the VIII and won an Oscar.

Avoid it.


From Baruch Weiss : The reason I like this short is because of the music. I wonder who did it because in the early Disney cartoons there were no opening credits.
From Ben Blight : This is the best Mickey cartoon, in my opinion. It is not so much a story as it is a collection of creative gags: a combination take-off of "Alice In Wonderland" and spoof of movies of the time period. For example, Mickey dances with cards on a poker table, which make kaleidoscope designs that we see from a bird's eye view, like in Busby Berlekey's musicals. Then Mickey dances with the queen of hearts--they tap and swing like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers across a dance floor. The superb music is classic swing, typical of the time period. The action at the end, when Mickey is chased my cards, is brilliant: much more imaginative than the "card" scene in Disney's later "Alice In Wonderland" Movie.
From Bill : This Mickey short is one of my favorites. I am a big fan of Mickey and he just outdoes himself in this one. The story of Mickey dreaming going through the mirror is clever, and the way all the inanimate objects come to life make it surreal. Just a great short. Top 10 in my collection!
From Violet : I saw this short when I was a little girl. I loved it! It might not have been my favorite but it is the one that I remember most. It was so cute and I loved it when Mickey danced with the gloves. Although, I did get a little scared when the cards started attacking Mickey.
From Michelle I. : This short is included on the "Alice in Wonderland" special edition DVD set. Its strongest points are Mickey's dance with the gloves and the attack of the playing cards.
From Severin : A cartoon that is labeled "A Walt Disney Mickey Mouse" and for once it actually is a Mickey Mouse cartoon, and I think that's what makes this cartoon very special, and one my favorites, Whoever said Mickey can't really carry an entertaining short by himself needs to get their head examined.
From Mick Mouse : One of my favorite shorts. I absolutely LOVE the music! Today's music stinks! And I wish someone would dance with me the way Mickey dances with the Queen of Hearts. *sigh*
From Mike : This is my favorite Mickey cartoon. It's a true classic. I always enjoyed the dancing scenes. Just brilliant.
From Bryan Hensley : It's jazzy music, like the kind in this short, that make me want to boogie my bottom off. One critic says "today's music stinks!", but when it comes to Kyle Massey's music, I couldn't agree more. His version of "You've Got A Friend In Me" is downright shameful compared to the original version from Toy Story! But I digress. Mickey can certainly "skip it" with the objects in his bedroom! There's something familiar in one scene I remember hearing. An ad for Disney's Mini-Classics VHS collection featured the music from when Mickey was dancing with the gloves, right down to his tuchus getting kicked into a deck of cards! (The Favorite Stories VHS version of "Wind In The Willows" has it for some weird reason, when the tape ends that is.) This whole short was in the first volume of Disney's Animation Collection! Thru The Mirror was also out 15 years before Alice In Wonderland ever came to theatres! Amazing, isn't it? The radio was making a joke about the phrases "Calling all cars" and "Calling all guards" all in one. (Hence "Calling all cards".) Who'd have thunk a nut would make you huge then shrink smaller than your normal size in a moment flat?

Referenced Comments